Now, it’s the Atlantic who have stepped up with embarrassing “if Republican opponents of abortion were different things wouldn’t be the same” fantasies:
A better tack: Rather than tee up an exhausting, decades-long legal battle over whether crisis pregnancy centers (the modern anti-abortion movement’s preferred delivery method for services, money, and goods for women in need) ought to receive state funds and under what conditions, agree that pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care should all be free, and demand that the federal government make it so.
And yet: Where’s the constituency for effecting this kind of change? Pro-lifers are a powerful bloc within the Republican Party—but still only a bloc, and they would need a fresh insurgence of allies to replace the business conservatives they would lose were they to sincerely demand concrete policy relief for mothers and babies. (Said fiscal conservatives have been openly hostile to generous programs for mothers and infants for years now, and I’ve seen nothing that makes me suspect they’ll undergo a change of heart now.)
Here’s the thing: American pro-lifers are fiscal conservatives. There are many states in which the pro-life movement has immense influence, and they’re making exactly the offers to pregnant women, mothers and children that actually existing pro-lifers want: nothing, not even the Medicaid expansion:
Hoping that overruling Roe will cause a Republican turn to social democracy is as deluded as liberal hawks thinking they could support the Iraq War without supporting George W. Bush’s Iraq War. They are what their record says they are pic.twitter.com/ahBomwjp8A— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) July 9, 2022
They would be wise to court politically estranged American independents, many of whom were sympathetic to Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential runs, complete with his centerpiece proposal, Medicare for All. Creating a Medicare program for pregnancy and birth wouldn’t remotely accomplish what Sanders envisioned, but it would save lives, promote healthier moms and babies, and rescue millions of parents from stressful financial burdens and the threat of medical debt.
Here’s the thing: group of people with a preference ranking of [Bernie>Trump>mainstream liberal] –or, to be charitable, [Bernie>(Trump=mainstream liberal], are 1)Liz and Matt Breunig, and 2)that’s it. Not only is it not a political movement, it’s not enough to be a Dungeons and Dragons game. Nothing about Dobbs is going to turn a material number of opponents of legal abortions’ into social democrats. A small handful of pro-life Republicans could act to pass the generous child care credit most mainstream Democrats favor; it’s not happening because they don’t want to.
There'll be a couple mil devoted to Limited Free Pampers Subsidies and all the anti-abortionist will say "see? We're pro-life for reals" and then they'll ban contraceptives.
This bullshit could not get more obvious.— Roy Edroso (@edroso) July 9, 2022
American pro-lifers are getting exactly the policy mix they want in Mississippi and Alabama. Whether you want to support that is up to you, but social democracy is coming to the Republican Party never.